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Psychodrama – The Fusion of Drama & Therapy

By Johan Jeson

Ever wondered why some people behaved obnoxiously in public? It’s because of their mind. Losing their self consciousness in public is very common among people who suffer from psychological problems. What is the solution to this? Psychodrama!

In some ways, watching people express their repressed feelings can be quite disturbing since a person who suffers from mental dysfunction tends to overreact to their circumstances which can cause harm to others. In such cases, Psychodrama helps. Psychodrama is a unique form of treatment that fuses psychological principles with dramatic role play to help people recover from their insanity or depressed lifestyle.

This image represents a patient’s dramatic response to their experiences and emotions when undergoing therapy.

This type of treatment can be effective when it’s done individually or as a group (sociodrama). It was first developed by a 20th-century psychiatrist called Jacob L. Moreno . He classified psychodrama as the “scientific exploration of truth through dramatic method”[1]. It began as a group approach to therapy that was coupled with philosophical and creative elements. Now it has evolved into a significant treatment for people who suffer from emotional and mental difficulties.

What’s the difference between other forms of treatment and psychodrama?

Psychodrama is distinct from other forms of treatment since it is conducted in a different manner. [2] Usually, people who consult therapists tend to speak to them privately, explaining their problems in a calm and quiet atmosphere. In many ways, such environments can seem confining or restrictive since it doesn’t provide an opportunity to share everything from within. The person has to be careful of their actions. Paranoia, fear, and shame can emerge from within their disturbed hearts and minds when they face their psychologist or doctor for treatment which may result in them holding back important details of their problems.

However, psychodrama is an effective therapeutic approach that helps patients or clients to explore their inner selves and find out the problems behind their struggles. The sessions are conducted in theatrical settings to help people enact their feelings and emotions without any constraints or limits. Props and other costumes can be used to depict different people in various situations. Dramatization helps the body revitalize itself, and gives the individual a viable platform to exhibit their lives and struggles so that they can release the pain that is entrapped within themselves. When conducted in groups, a certified psychodramatist directs the people and helps them recreate past experiences (inner mental processes). The psychodramatist records the observations to sketch an outline of the major problems that the person confronts. Psychodrama is not group therapy, but it is an individual treatment process within a group setting. #ChangingTheHeartAndMind.

Psychodrama is conducted to help people relive their lives and experience that freedom of expression.This affects the operations of the prefrontal cortex (which controls higher executive functions), the limbic system (which regulates emotions) and, the mesolimbic reward system (which controls appetites and instincts).

The human brain functions in such mysterious ways that sometimes it resists change. Studies have shown that experiential therapies like psychodrama create new neural pathways that stimulate behavioral changes [3]. Psychodrama can also help the brain create new neurons in response to different experiences that are encountered during a psychodramatic session. In scientific terms, the brain expands and grows which is often known as Neuroplasticity. #BrainNeverStopsGrowing.

People usually resort to alcohol or other mood-altering drugs to find peace of mind since the brain craves for painkillers at times of distress. This leads to chemical dependence that can affect a person’s physical, mental, and cognitive functions in a negative way. On the other hand, healthy connections between the body and mind allow individuals to experience and articulate a multitude of emotions during their therapeutic sessions. Such individuals can experience recovery when compared to those who consume chemical drugs and depressants. #QuitDrugs-StartLife!

Emerging brain studies show that the interaction between the inside world and the outside environment leads to positive changes that can strengthen mental operations. Acting out a scene and then talking about it with people helps in building connections, and empowers individuals to allow long-lasting shifts to occur in how they respond to emotional triggers or stimuli. It allows them to freely express whatever they feel without any fears of being judged.Thus, it marks the beginning of a journey to complete healing and wellness.


[1]Good Therapy, 16/05/2016, Retrieved: 24/02/2019


[2] Tomasulo, Dan, 25/11/2010

Retrieved: 24/02/2019

What is Psychodrama?

[3] Babits, Marty


Retrieved: 24/02/2019

Four Ways Psychodrama Creates Emotional Intimacy

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